The other day one of my nieces was concerned that the daycare she was planning to register her young child in this fall insists children be picked up by 5 p.m. That can be tough on working parents.
But Axios reports there’s “a shift away from 9-5 daycare and toward ‘configurable’ arrangements “ such as a babysitter for part of the week and “other arrangements for the rest.” Axios says this is due to increased hybrid work and the “soaring cost of childcare.”
In a survey from Care.com provided to Axios, 51% of parents report they’ll spend more than 20% of their income on childcare this year—“far more than the 7% the federal government defines as ‘affordable’.”
These higher costs, says Axios, are driving long-term changes in how and where childcare takes place. “It’s a huge sea change,” Care.com CEO Tim Allen told Axios. He added that families were looking for childcare that worked with their work-from-home schedules and didn’t need 9-5 daily childcare.
I don’t want to dispute Care.com’s survey, but I know my niece is not looking for a part-time solution. If you’re working at home, it’s hard to do your job and take care of your kids.
There has long been a shortage of affordable daycare in the U.S., and this may be a good time to think about how you can offer the solutions parents want. If you operate a daycare facility, think about changing your hours to accommodate parents’ schedules more easily. Can you offer payment options? Part-time care?
With the news a few weeks ago that the birthrate is ticking up, it’s a good bet the need for childcare will increase. There’s an opportunity for entrepreneurs who can figure out how to fill that need.